Thursday, September 29, 2011

jewel tones and cartwheels

well, I'm wearing another calico dress, but this time in teal (or is it turquoise?). Normally, a dress this style would be too boho for my taste, but I was drawn to it because of it's jewel tone colors that just happen to compliment these new Nine West shoes I recently purchased. It is getting harder and harder for me to wear high heels, but these shoes are pretty comfortable, especially considering their 5 inch heel.

These photos were taken at my best friend Desiree's new house. She hosted a family housewarming & birthday party for her sister. Her family is from New York so they are naturally gregarious & boisterous & her house echoes so it was pretty loud inside. It actually kind of sounded like New York in the abode. Outside the house, Desi's niece was doing back flips & one handed cartwheels all over the yard, and Desi's sister's puppy, Max, was just as nimble. Did you see the height he can get? I am so inspired by Desi's gymnast niece. She once led me in one of her workouts and I tell you, it was one of the hardest work outs I've ever endured. I am pretty flexible, but I really wish I could contort my body more. There was a gal in yoga class yesterday that was so flexible, I nearly tore some ligaments competing with her. Of course, competition is frowned upon in yoga, but she didn’t know that I was competing with her, and I can’t help myself. I hope one day I can do a handstand on a whim, and when I do, I’ll be sure to show you.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

orange calico tent

I think I might always be fond of tent dress minis. This particular dress was once a moo-moo, but it looks much better shortened. These photos were taken around my hood. There would have a been a cute orange plastic with leather trim handbag in these photos (recently thrifted) but I left it at Starbucks and only noticed it was missing once we got home. Pete was so sweet - he ran all the way back & luckily my new purse was still there. I was hobbling pretty close behind him. Turns out these vintage Cherokee platforms were not as comfortable as I recalled, so I was walking barefoot, which I don't really mind in a natural setting, but urban barefoot walking can be pretty gross. But in the end, everything worked out, as it usually does.

Monday, September 26, 2011

a renegade canyon photoshoot

Last weekend, Pete and I did a renegade photo shoot out in the canyon. We trespassed on an old abandoned ranch, and nobody really noticed us even though there were hikers out and I was wearing some pretty fancy vintage clothing and laying all over the ground and inside hollow trees. Unfortunately, the photos inside the hollow tree was underexposed (my light meter died), but I’ll be back to capture this image. The inside (womb) of the tree was smooth and milky & insect free & I was snug as a bug, and I thought while lying there, “I should have a coffin like this when I die.” There were the most perfect holes in the tree exposing my outfit and face in a very artistic way, but I guessed what aperture to shoot at based on my very limited experience & I was wrong, but that’s how learning goes, right?

We also tried out some new photographic techniques, namely using a piece of colored acetate over the lens to add splashes of color. I have to give credit to the talented Jaja of July Stars for this marvelous lo fi idea. I also got a new soft focus lens filter. I’m going to be experimenting with photography a whole lot more, and I’m so glad I found such a fun hobby. As always, thank you to Pete for joining me in this hobby & always taking my photo.

My first outfit in this photo is somewhat “ranch-wear” influenced. I’m wearing a turn of the century underskirt and vintage slip tank, a brown-turquoise (even though it’s white, it’s still called that) necklace which is annoyingly turned the wrong way in the first photo, awesome vintage piano key suspenders (a gift from the darling Marissa of Stylebook vintage who sent them to me even though I am so undeserving of such kindness given how much money I spend on vintage clothing & accessories, but thank you, thank you!), and Pete’s vintage coat, which was actually the first piece I ever thrifted for him, probably about 8 years ago. My favorite accessories are definitely suspenders, and western bow ties, bolo ties, garter belts. Speaking of garter belts, in my last outfit, I’m wearing a yellow floral 1930s dress with garter belts which are holding up 50s thigh highs. You may not be able to tell but I’m wearing two different color thigh-highs in the same tonal range - bruised nectar & keylime pie (my names). The dress needs some work, but in the mean time I just safety pinned it wherever I see fit. Thank goodness for safety pins! I am an awful seamstress.

You can expect to see a lot more posts from me this week.


Crystal Lee

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

my home is in the blue ridge mountains

I'm keeping the old world alive, folks. This Sunday I took a class on cyanotype printing, which was invented in 1842. It's a really fun & easy process & anybody can do it. I took this photo along Hwy 395. If you look hard enough you can see the watermark from the watercolor paper I used in the corner of my image.
blue mountains
In a similar vein, I found this photo of a big eyed baby & a young mama in an antique shop in Bishop and was immediately drawn to it. maybe, because my sister is a young mama who keeps popping out big eyed babies.
my four year old niece, Anna, took this photo of me and my nephew Nicholas, so it's a bit blurry. She made me hold the doll. She is a bossy photographer. Wonder where she got that from. ahem.
Also on my recent road trip, I purchased a 1940's book, "Mr. Red Squirrel" for Anna & I just love the illustration. Here's my favorite image.
To conclude this rather desultory post, I leave you with a song that I've been playing and singing over and over again: Townes Van Zandt's "Blue Ridge Mountains."

Ciao for now,

Crystal Lee

Monday, September 19, 2011

our ramblin ways

Howdjadoo, folks (that’s Woody Guthrie speak for Hey, How are you?). Here's some black and white photos from our recent trip to the Eastern Sierra and also some from yesterday's escapades in Silverado canyon. And that’s really the extent of our recent ramblins. These days, Pete and I have been spending a lot of time indoors - watching Trailer Park Boys marathon style and drinking wine in the evenings. I have been more tired than usual, and I blame the changing of the seasons, which always takea me a little while to get used to. But I will be going to San Francisco in a few weeks for the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival and thinking about that really perks me up. I hope everyone is happy & healthy.

wearing a turn of the century crochet crop top

Red Rock Canyon, CA

anniversary boots

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

mid century suburbia in Southern California

My best friend and her husband just bought their first home and it's a mid century dream - an Eichler. Located in an Eichler enclave, on a cul-de-sac street frozen in time, upon beholding it, I couldn't help but think of all the outfits I would wear and photograph in and around her house, taking over her neighborhood for my amusement and yours. This editorial from Paris Vogue showcases a fancy gal living out my daydreams.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

the highway is for lovers

Here in Los Angeles, it’s sweltering, the sky is visibly polluted, and the traffic is a living hell; my mind drifts towards last weekend’s trip along Hwy 395. Here is a peaceful image of the windy road as seen from the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest.
long time friends
After exploring the Bristlecone Pine Forest, we made our way to one of our favorite little towns, Bridgeport, where we ate some top notch fried chicken and peach pie that made me moan aloud. Later that night, we entertained ourselves with a game of horseshoes (I'm afraid the photos were too grainy to post). With Pete's advice to play with more finesse and grace, I actually did pretty well for my first try.
Believe it or not, there was no film at this store.
Outside of our room at the Virginia Creek Settlement in Bridgeport
The next morning, we drove to Virginia City, Nevada, a dusty, bawdy, old western mining town, where outlaws, gamblers, miners, soiled doves, and Mark Twain once roamed. Mark Twain's first novel,"Roughing It", was based on his time spent living and working in Virginia City, NV. I have yet to read this book, but I can't wait to now. And here I am roaming around.

Mark Twain sat here in his role as editor of the local newspaper, the Territorial Enterprise

He also sat here.

The sun shines through big undies here in Virginia City.

in the bookstore. My dress features an insect print.
the main drag in Virginia City
We decided to lodge at Lake Tahoe but in retrospect, we would have enjoyed Virginia City's nightlife much more. Anyway, on our way to Tahoe, my car overheated, and so we parked it in the shade, right in front of the sign for the Moonlight Bunny Ranch, which we couldn't actually find for a photo op.
We made it to Tahoe just in time to hit the lake and catch some rays.

The nightlife in South Tahoe is basically an outdoor shopping mall offering a lot of crap retail, but we found an arcade in Harrah's Casino that had old school video games like Ms. PacMan!
The next morning, we made our way to June Lake, a charming and friendly little resort town, that we really want to return to in the Fall or Winter.
June Lake

Pete in front of our room. We spent the evenings with the locals at the Tiger Bar, where we sat at the bar and conversed with everyone about important matters like who makes the best pie along Hwy 395. Pete and I shared a piece of peach pie, and though it was yummy, but Bridgeport's peach pie was much better.
The Tiger Bar
We stopped at several antique shops during our trip. I found a turn of the century crochet crop top with pink ribbon trim for $15. I wore it for most of the trip, but those photos are on the black and white film that is still in my camera. I also bought Pete a pair of handsome cowboy boots as an anniversary gift (It's been three years this final time around). I found the cutest 1930s round glasses, but the celluloid arm snapped in half as I was trying them on after purchase. The owner of the shop let me pick out another pair and also let me keep the damaged ones; I'm hoping Pete can fix em' for me, and I'm pretty sure he'll be able to. He's been successfully fixing my run down shit forever now.
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